June 27, 2020
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Kiren Rijiju

I proclaim that as a proud citizen of Arunachal Pradesh I eat beef and other meats.

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Kiren Rijiju
Illustration by Saahil
Kiren Rijiju

Who decides on who can go to Pakistan and who can’t? Even Najma Heptullah, the most ill-informed political leader next only to Hema Malini, knows it is the home ministry and not the minority affairs minister. At least, former minister Najma Heptullah knew this. But not her successor Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi! Why does he speak out of turn and embarrass himself, the government and the respected prime minister? Everyone knows why Naqvi was chosen in the cabinet. He was to represent the happy prosperous, well-fed, chubby-cheeked minority community member who had prospered with the BJP and continued under the patronage of NaMo. Whether at party meets, public meetings or in Parliament, Naqvi had to keep his eyes open, mind alert and cheer the PM. Had he been a cricket cheerleader, he would be an automatic choice. The chubby, pink cheeks and good clothes were an asset though it is doubtful if Mukhtarbhai would have agreed to wear ‘short shorts’ and bare his legs! He may yet do that if NaMo orders him to do so under a second regime though.

I have no objection to all that. As minister for minority affairs, he had no business to discuss the views of the home ministry and my role in it. Neither I nor my senior Rajnath Singhji will tolerate this blatant interference and the matter will be taken up with the PM. How dare they showcase Abbasbhai to advise that those who wan­ted to eat beef should go to Pakistan? Look, I made it clear in public that I was from Arunachal Pradesh and eat beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love a juicy steak and if you ever read English books you will understand the importance given to succulent steaks, roast beef sandwiches and so on. If you chose to ignore these, you are the loser. 

Let people in Gujarat, Maharashtra or Madhya Pradesh eat whatever they want to. I keep quiet. It is their fundamental right. We in Arunachal Pradesh eat different kinds of meat, which is accepted by the Constitution. People from other states, busybodies like Naqvi, should accept this and keep quiet or go to Pakistan. Doesn’t he read the Constitution, which gives us the right and freedom to eat and drink as we pleased? Naqvi says he does not eat beef, the most common diet among poor Indian Muslims. I presume he goes abroad on government expense often. Doesn’t he eat beef on these occasions? As the MoS for home affairs, I have a prime minister who fasts during foreign state banquets or sips tulsi water. Our minorities minister says he does not eat beef or meat but I proclaim that as a proud citizen of Arunachal Pradesh I eat beef and other meats. I tell the truth and believe in live and let live!

The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 [AT] gmail [DOT] com

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